THE location of next year’s IWA National Trailboat Festival has been announced as the Summit Level of the Wey & Arun Canal in Alfold/Dunsfold on the Surrey and Sussex border. Hosted by the Wey & Arun Canal Trust, the annual event will take place over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend (23rd-25th May, 2020).
A favourite among the UK’s trailboat community, the IWA National Trailboat Festival promises to be packed full of events and entertainment to attract both boaters and non-boaters. A full programme of activities for all ages will be published closer to the time but will include live music, food stalls, demonstrations and competitions. There will be an award ceremony at the festival, as well as an illuminated boat parade.
The festival aims to raise the profile of the Wey & Arun Canal and its restoration, and will take place on the spot where the Wey & Arun Junction Canal was officially opened on the 28th September 1816 by the 3rd Earl of Egremont.
The Summit Level has been a focus for the Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s restoration plans and has seen major renovation in recent years, including the construction of Compasses Bridge and the Thriscutt Slipway, built by Trust volunteers and opened last year.
Talking about the 2020 festival, Wey & Arun Canal Trust chairman, Sally Schupke says, “We are thrilled to be hosting the IWA Trailboat Festival on the Wey & Arun Canal next year. We can’t wait to see the canal filled with boats and the Thriscutt Slipway in use.
“The event will provide a great opportunity to show visitors the Trust’s commitment to restoring the canal in Surrey and West Sussex and highlighting the many advances we have made. The restored inland waterway provides so many benefits and we are delighted to be able to show some of these to those attending the event.”
For further information or to book a festival space for a trailboat or tent, please visit www.waterways.org.uk/trailboat. Any stallholders or local organisations that are interested in taking a stand at the festival can contact Wey & Arun Canal Trust on firstname.lastname@example.org.